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Checking it Twice: A Holiday GUMSHOE Campaign Frame

In Checking it Twice, players are the North Pole's crack investigators, the elves tasked with clearing Santa's list of Naughty and Nice children. Sometimes a child's name will move from Nice to Naughty after Santa has compiled the list and checked it himself. When this happens, your Elves get to work. You must determine if the child in question deserves their new place on the list or if there is some way they can make their way back to Nice.


Elves start with 1 point in The List. You can spend a number of points on Investigative abilities based on the number of players.
# of PlayersInvestigative Ability Points
You can spend 35 points on General abilities. For 5 General ability points, you can purchase a Gift in one General ability. If you have a Gift, once per session, you can automatically succeed at a single roll with that ability, even if the task would be impossible. Your elf magic lets you do things that no one could do. Two characters cannot have a Gift in the same ability.

Investigative Abilities

  • Entering (you can get into places you shouldn't)
  • Flattery (you can get on someone's good side)
  • Impersonate (you can make someone think you are someone else)
  • Inspiration (you can make someone feel good about themselves)
  • Lie Detector (you know when someone is fibbing)
  • Listen (you can get someone to open up about their problems or tell you their story)
  • Notice (you can spot things that aren't in plain sight)
  • Negotiation (you can get someone to compromise or give you a deal)
  • Reassurance (you can convince someone that everything will be alright)
  • The List (you know major life details about any child on the Naughty or Nice list)
  • Trivia (you know a lot of seemingly useless stuff)

General Abilities

  • Athletics (running, jumping, climbing, swimming)
  • Conceal (hiding things)
  • Filch (taking things without anyone noticing)
  • Hiding (sneaking about without anyone seeing you)
  • Tinkering (fixing or building things)
  • Preparedness (having the right tool for the job)
  • Sense Trouble (spotting danger coming)

The Rules of the List

There are a few rules elves must follow during their investigations.

  1. Whenever possible, do not let an adult see you. Preferably, no one should see you, but sometimes it's acceptable to reveal yourself to a child.
  2. You determine if the Naughty act can be forgiven, but the child must make amends on their own. Elves cannot fix a child's problems for them.
  3. If the child stops believing in Santa, the mission is over. In fact, a child who no longer believes disappears from the List, and all supernatural knowledge of their life disappears from the elves' minds.

Adventure Hooks

  • A young girl lets her friend cheat off her paper during a test. Her friend is otherwise failing and may have to repeat the grade. The elves must find a way for the girl to come clean with her teacher without getting her friend in too much trouble before school lets out for Christmas break.
  • A boy with a troubled home life gets into a fight with bullies who tease him for believing in Santa. During the investigation, his faith wavers and he begins to fade from the list. The elves must risk breaking all of the rules to give this boy the comfort he desperately needs.

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